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Thread: E46 M3 Oil

  1. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by dj10 View Post
    If 10w 60w is so good why can't you buy it from anyone else but dealers and a few shops like Turner Motorsports? Castrol makes a damn good 10W40w synthec for 1/2 the price. IMO it's a money making scam. Change the oil & filter sooner than BMW wants you too.
    Money making scam? Right...

    The 10w-60 is only available from BMW and BMW enthusiast organizations because there simply is not enough demand for 10w-60 oil to keep it on the shelves of your local discount auto parts. Other manufacturer's don't make the blend because there just is not enough demand for it. Only BMW uses the oil, and specifically, only the M3/M5/M6 line.

    BMW went to Castrol and asked them for an oil that would meet the requirements of their engine and Castrol answered back with the 10w-60. You can put 10w-40 in your engine and change it every other day... it still won't have the lubrication properties necessary to keep an S54 motor from grenading itself with prolonged use at 8000rpm.

    It's your motor... do as you wish, but I highly recommend the use of 10W-60 oil. I would think that if you spent all the money on the car, paying for the oil changes shouldn't be a problem.
    Let me get this straight... You are swapping out parts designed by hundreds of engineers that get paid thousands of dollars for something you bought at Pep Boys because your buddy who doesn't have a job told you it was 'better'?!?

  2. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevlar View Post
    Money making scam? Right...

    The 10w-60 is only available from BMW and BMW enthusiast organizations because there simply is not enough demand for 10w-60 oil to keep it on the shelves of your local discount auto parts. Other manufacturer's don't make the blend because there just is not enough demand for it. Only BMW uses the oil, and specifically, only the M3/M5/M6 line.

    BMW went to Castrol and asked them for an oil that would meet the requirements of their engine and Castrol answered back with the 10w-60. You can put 10w-40 in your engine and change it every other day... it still won't have the lubrication properties necessary to keep an S54 motor from grenading itself with prolonged use at 8000rpm.

    It's your motor... do as you wish, but I highly recommend the use of 10W-60 oil. I would think that if you spent all the money on the car, paying for the oil changes shouldn't be a problem.
    /thread & debate


  3. #28
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    It's your motor... do as you wish, but I highly recommend the use of 10W-60 oil. I would think that if you spent all the money on the car, paying for the oil changes shouldn't be a problem.
    I second your notion, if you can afford an E46, you can certainly afford the oil for it.

  4. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevlar View Post
    BMW went to Castrol and asked them for an oil that would meet the requirements of their engine and Castrol answered back with the 10w-60. You can put 10w-40 in your engine and change it every other day... it still won't have the lubrication properties necessary to keep an S54 motor from grenading itself with prolonged use at 8000rpm.

    And you know this as a fact? How? I don't know anyone one even racing that keeps their car at 8k!

    It's your motor... do as you wish, but I highly recommend the use of 10W-60 oil. I would think that if you spent all the money on the car, paying for the oil changes shouldn't be a problem.
    Money is not the real issue here is it? But it is like using a aftermarket brake disc to an OEM brake disc. They do the same job just one is 1/2 the price of the other. I talked to a number of techs that are friends, they told me to use the 10w 40w. Lets agree that we disagree, unless you can come up with some proof.
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  5. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by dj10 View Post
    Money is not the real issue here is it? But it is like using a aftermarket brake disc to an OEM brake disc. They do the same job just one is 1/2 the price of the other. I talked to a number of techs that are friends, they told me to use the 10w 40w. Lets agree that we disagree, unless you can come up with some proof.
    Devil's Advocate-

    Wouldn't that be like using aftermarket brakes that were a size too small--i.e. they'd work in a lot of situations, but wouldn't be there for you in a pinch?

    If you don't drive the car hard and you plan on getting rid of it before it gets too old, you probably won't have any problems. If you do keep the car long term, let us know how it works out. I'm curious how/if the wear and tear will vary from using 10w60.

  6. #31
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    Not that it matters but i have been running 10w60TMS in my e36 m3 for the past year now and it has made a HUGE difference... I dont consume near as much oil as i have in the past... Worth the extra couple bucks for me hands down...
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  7. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by cpcalkins View Post
    Not that it matters but i have been running 10w60TMS in my e36 m3 for the past year now and it has made a HUGE difference... I dont consume near as much oil as i have in the past... Worth the extra couple bucks for me hands down...
    You see less oil consumption because the thicker oil can't escape out through any oil leaks you may have or get past the piston rings. It's a band aid for another larger problem. However, the thicker oil may not be making it to tight clearances as needed because of 'ramping up' because it's too thick.
    Let me get this straight... You are swapping out parts designed by hundreds of engineers that get paid thousands of dollars for something you bought at Pep Boys because your buddy who doesn't have a job told you it was 'better'?!?

  8. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by cpcalkins View Post
    Not that it matters but i have been running 10w60TMS in my e36 m3 for the past year now and it has made a HUGE difference... I dont consume near as much oil as i have in the past... Worth the extra couple bucks for me hands down...
    How often do you change your oil & filter? Do a leak down test and let me know what it is.
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  9. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by dj10 View Post
    Money is not the real issue here is it? But it is like using a aftermarket brake disc to an OEM brake disc. They do the same job just one is 1/2 the price of the other. I talked to a number of techs that are friends, they told me to use the 10w 40w. Lets agree that we disagree, unless you can come up with some proof.
    Well... without devoting my free time to researching too much numerical proof, here are the differences between 10w-40 oil versus the 10w-60 oil that I was able to quickly find.

    10w-40 / 10w-60

    Viscosity (thickness) at 40 deg C = 98.16 / 163.10
    Viscosity (thickness) at 100 deg C = 14.71 / 24.30

    That's a huge difference in thickness at 242 deg F and considering oil temperatures can get up to 300 deg F, that would make me think that the 10w-60 oil would be required. Now all this is moot if you don't drive your car hard enough to get the oil temperature up that high. If you drive easy and your oil temperate barely gets up to temperature, you could use a lesser oil... could even go down as far as 5w-30 or even lesser yet, 5w-20.

    I can tell you this... three pulls on a dyno with 5w-30 vs. 10w-60 will show a net gain of probably 5-6hp, but after three pulls with 5w-30, your oil temperature will be at or very close to 300 deg F. Also extended heavy foot usage on a hot day will also show oil temperatures in the 260+ range. Some guys will even hit 300 on the track and are looking for better oil coolers to help keep the oil temperatures down.

    All of the above knowledge is personal opinion (except for the viscosity ratings), so I'll leave it at that and agree to disagree.
    Let me get this straight... You are swapping out parts designed by hundreds of engineers that get paid thousands of dollars for something you bought at Pep Boys because your buddy who doesn't have a job told you it was 'better'?!?

  10. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by dj10 View Post
    How often do you change your oil & filter? Do a leak down test and let me know what it is.

    I change my oil and filter every 5000 miles and both compression and leakdown were fine... Compression was 210 across all cylinders and leakdown was less than 5%... All this on a motor with 140k miles... I usually have to put in one qt between oil changes but my M is a daily driver and sees on average 20k miles a year... I do admit i started using a little more oil after my eurosport cam kit install...
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  11. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by dj10 View Post
    If 10w 60w is so good why can't you buy it from anyone else but dealers and a few shops like Turner Motorsports? Castrol makes a damn good 10W40w synthec for 1/2 the price. IMO it's a money making scam. Change the oil & filter sooner than BMW wants you too.
    So, to reiterate my question on the math of this issue:

    You're going to risk potential engine damage and possible denial of engine damage repair from BMW over a matter of $27 per oil change? Even if you'd have done 5K changes, it's only $81 per year (if you do 15K a year). If your argument is to just change the cheaper oil more often, then you're saving even less. I'm not made of money, but even I think that sounds ridiculous on a car like this.
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  12. #37
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    When was the last time you got your oil checked?

  13. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by rpm555 View Post
    When was the last time you got your oil checked?

    If your refering to me, its been a while but you guys act like M's dont use oil... Some do and some dont... I know of some guys who use alot more oil than me and BMW says it is acceptable to use a qt of oil every 1000 miles for the S52 and for that matter. i have heard of oil consumtpion for the S62, 1 qt every 500 miles is acceptable... Not sure of the S54s but with the horror stories with the bearing issues, I would go no less than 10w60 and i sure as hell wouldnt rev that motor past 8k...
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  14. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by cpcalkins View Post
    If your refering to me, its been a while but you guys act like M's dont use oil... Some do and some dont... I know of some guys who use alot more oil than me and BMW says it is acceptable to use a qt of oil every 1000 miles for the S52 and for that matter. i have heard of oil consumtpion for the S62, 1 qt every 500 miles is acceptable... Not sure of the S54s but with the horror stories with the bearing issues, I would go no less than 10w60 and i sure as hell wouldnt rev that motor past 8k...
    Yes oil consumption is normally ... it is attributed to break-in procedure as well as the production tolerances of each engine. Some people get lucky and don't burn any oil... some people go through it like water.
    Let me get this straight... You are swapping out parts designed by hundreds of engineers that get paid thousands of dollars for something you bought at Pep Boys because your buddy who doesn't have a job told you it was 'better'?!?

  15. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeorgeM3SMG View Post
    It's your car, but you're going to risk voiding any BMW support in order to save around $2.50 x 6 = $15/oil change or maybe $30-$45 a year???

    Really?

    If I recall correctly, 5w30 is "acceptable" if 10w60 is not available and oil *must* be added. It's not considered interchangeable on a regular basis as their product blurb claims.

    I'm not trying to save money. I just really love Royal Purple. I use it on my bike and it made a nice difference on a motor that revs past 14k on a routine basis.

    I'll spend what I have to make sure my car runs the best it can
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  16. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeftcoastM3 View Post
    I'm not trying to save money. I just really love Royal Purple. I use it on my bike and it made a nice difference on a motor that revs past 14k on a routine basis.

    I'll spend what I have to make sure my car runs the best it can
    Good Oil, RP, Amsoil, Red Line and yes the German made Castrol are true synthetic oils. Mobil 1 use to be a true synthetic but I've heard they are now a group 3, which still isn't bad, oil. I think your oil is a little over kill unless your racing it. But, whatever makes your boat float.
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  17. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevlar View Post
    I can tell you this... three pulls on a dyno with 5w-30 vs. 10w-60 will show a net gain of probably 5-6hp, but after three pulls with 5w-30, your oil temperature will be at or very close to 300 deg F. Also extended heavy foot usage on a hot day will also show oil temperatures in the 260+ range. Some guys will even hit 300 on the track and are looking for better oil coolers to help keep the oil temperatures down.
    I presume the higher hp is the lighter oil which would tranlate to less rotating drag at the higher temperature. You weren't specific.

    Without an oil temp guage I don't know what the M3 runs in normal driving, but my cars with an oil temp guage will run 200-220 deg F while driving around. They will quickly get to 260+ on a track day and by the end of 10 laps are at 280-300 with a large oil cooler.

    I definitely would run the thicker oil for a track day. Daily driving it makes no difference and in fact the lighter oil is likely much better for lubrication at the lower oil temperature.

    In my track car (non BMW) I run 15-50 non detergent for track days and 10-40 for daily driving.

    Oil needs are based more on temperature than tolerances although the looser tolerances of a blueprinted race engine will require a slightly thicker oil. From listening to my M3 I suspect the tolerances are pretty normal....precise but normal. You can hear a loosely built forged engine as it clatters pretty well until it reaches operating temps.

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  18. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by pkincy View Post
    I presume the higher hp is the lighter oil which would tranlate to less rotating drag at the higher temperature. You weren't specific.

    Without an oil temp guage I don't know what the M3 runs in normal driving, but my cars with an oil temp guage will run 200-220 deg F while driving around. They will quickly get to 260+ on a track day and by the end of 10 laps are at 280-300 with a large oil cooler.

    I definitely would run the thicker oil for a track day. Daily driving it makes no difference and in fact the lighter oil is likely much better for lubrication at the lower oil temperature.

    In my track car (non BMW) I run 15-50 non detergent for track days and 10-40 for daily driving.

    Oil needs are based more on temperature than tolerances although the looser tolerances of a blueprinted race engine will require a slightly thicker oil. From listening to my M3 I suspect the tolerances are pretty normal....precise but normal. You can hear a loosely built forged engine as it clatters pretty well until it reaches operating temps.

    Perry

    There is an oil temp gauge on the E46 M3... not sure what you are talking about.
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  19. #44
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  20. #45
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    Where do you guys order the filter from? Website and part # if you have it please? Will use Castrol of course...

  21. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevlar View Post
    Well... without devoting my free time to researching too much numerical proof, here are the differences between 10w-40 oil versus the 10w-60 oil that I was able to quickly find.

    10w-40 / 10w-60

    Viscosity (thickness) at 40 deg C = 98.16 / 163.10
    Viscosity (thickness) at 100 deg C = 14.71 / 24.30

    That's a huge difference in thickness at 242 deg F and considering oil temperatures can get up to 300 deg F, that would make me think that the 10w-60 oil would be required. Now all this is moot if you don't drive your car hard enough to get the oil temperature up that high. If you drive easy and your oil temperate barely gets up to temperature, you could use a lesser oil... could even go down as far as 5w-30 or even lesser yet, 5w-20.

    I can tell you this... three pulls on a dyno with 5w-30 vs. 10w-60 will show a net gain of probably 5-6hp, but after three pulls with 5w-30, your oil temperature will be at or very close to 300 deg F. Also extended heavy foot usage on a hot day will also show oil temperatures in the 260+ range. Some guys will even hit 300 on the track and are looking for better oil coolers to help keep the oil temperatures down.

    All of the above knowledge is personal opinion (except for the viscosity ratings), so I'll leave it at that and agree to disagree.
    Sorry - this is irrelevent WRT oil 'performance', and both of these viscosity ratings are more than adequate at 300 deg. F. Go past that, and breakdown is the key player - most synthetics are better at high temp., but these days there is more marketing spoof out there than real performance when looking at oils. We're having big issues with HIGH dollar oils in the air-cooled Porsche racing world, as most manufacturers have changed formulas to the point where 'modern' oils (like TWS) don't work as well as the older formulas. But I digress.....

    The REAL reason to use TWS (and I use it in my E46 M3) is that the VANOS system in this motor DEPENDS on the oil viscosity to properly operate - the different viscosities listed above would not be the difference between a motor's bearings receiving proper oil at high rpm (like 15,000 rpm in a 500cc GP motorcycle, not the measly 8,000 rpm of our S54), BUT it will be the difference in the VANOS providing proper timing at a given load/RPM/etc. This is why these engines run 'better' with TWS, just as a poster depicted.

    Good Luck!

  22. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by wennderful View Post
    Where do you guys order the filter from? Website and part # if you have it please? Will use Castrol of course...
    11 42 7 833 769

    http://www.bavauto.com sells them, but by the time you tack on shipping for most vendors, you may as well just hit the dealer in your area.
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  23. #48
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    Didn't BMW change to 10w60 as part of the effort to mitigate the bearing issue in early E46 M3's?

    I seem to recall reading somewhere that they changed the spec to 10w60 (from 5w30, seems awfully thin) while they were researching the issue. But BMW never changed it back after identifying the out-of-spec bearings that were actually the root cause.
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeorgeM3SMG View Post
    Is this a custom job? 1 per rotor? Which year 13B is it? I'd be interested in pics of this.

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  25. #50
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    FYI: The 10w60 was specced for two reasons:
    1) To try to combat rod bearing failures. It mostly didn't work as this was a defective part issue. (Although it's hard to say whether or not it reduced failures.)
    2) To solve excessive valvetrain wear problems in both the S54 and S62.

    If you want to run something else that you think is better, go for it. But make sure you have a convincing reason to think that it's better. Not cheaper.
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